The Timberwolves, Hornets ands Suns have completed a three team trade sending Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to New Orleans, Wesley Johnson and a 1st Round Pick to the Suns and significant cap room going to the Timberwolves. The Hornets also sent Brad Miller’s expiring contract, 2 second round picks and Jerome Dyson to the Timberwolves. The Suns clear up their crowded frontcourt, add a needed pick for their rebuilding faze and get the opportunity to see if Wes Johnson can become a legitimate NBA starter. Remember, he was the fourth overall pick just three years ago. For the Hornets it is a completely different story.
It is well known that the Hornets were desperate for a starting caliber center as neither Ryan Anderson or prized rookie Anthony Davis are natural fits at the five and having Lopez will spare the Hornets from putting their franchise player (Davis) in a position where he wont be at his very best. Lopez is a legitimate 7 footer who is a great defender and rebounder, but has never found his stride on offense. He is a very intimidating man to man defender down low and is a capable weak side defender as well, with very good shot blocking skills. He will also clean up the glass on both ends and has had fantastic offensive rebounding numbers throughout his career, although in limited time on the court. Most importantly, Lopez is a starting caliber NBA center, which the team did not have before. Warrick adds another solid body down low for the Hornets, who were dangerously thin in that department and he could play some small forward, where the Hornets are also very thin.
Now with a potential starting center on the team in Robin Lopez, New Orleans will have to make a tough decision about who will start next to Anthony Davis down low, between Lopez and Anderson. Regardless, this is an argument for a later date and Anderson could possibly start at small forward in a very big starting lineup. Overall the Hornets have improved the roster once again and are that much closer to becoming a playoff team.